Philip Pullman: illegal downloading is ‘moral squalor’ | The Guardian UK

Bestselling author says web piracy is akin to ‘reaching into someone’s pocket and taking their wallet’

Illegal downloading is a kind of “moral squalor” and theft as much as reaching in to someone’s pocket and stealing their wallet is theft, the author Philip Pullman will say this week.

In an article for Index on Censorship, Pullman, who is president of the Society of Authors, makes a robust defence of copyright laws. He is withering about internet users who think it is OK to download music or books without paying for them.

“The technical brilliance is so dazzling that people can’t see the moral squalor of what they’re doing,” he writes. “It is outrageous that anyone can steal an artist’s work and get away with it. It is theft, as surely as reaching into someone’s pocket and taking their wallet is theft.”

His article comes after music industry leaders met David Cameron in Downing Street last Thursday where the issue of web piracy was discussed.